Zoe Saldana Opens Up About Husband Marco Perego, Their Mixed-Race Family and Feeling "Stronger" After Twins!

Actress also opens up to InStyle about her Nina casting controversy

By Zach Johnson Jun 05, 2015 6:00 PMTags
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Zoe Saldana has everything she could ever want.

The actress welcomed twins Cy and Bowie six months ago, and though it looks as if she's got her post-baby body back to its pre-baby size, the actress insists that's not the case. "I don't want to get back to where I used to be. I want to feel healthy, and not just fit into the old jeans I used to wear," Saldana, 36, says in InStyle's July issue. "I'm a woman now. My body has changed forever. It's softer...and stronger."

Becoming a mother has changed Saldana in other ways, too.

"Since I've been with Marco, I've been lowering my guard. Finally when we had our boys I looked at my husband and I realized: I was meant for you and you were meant for me. I've always felt comfortable around men as long as they were friends. Now I finally feel comfortable with my lover. I don't want to be separate. I want my church. I want to live inside the religion of our own little family."

Perego feels just as comfortable with Saldana. In fact, after they got married, the Italian artist decided to take his wife's surname. "I tried to talk him out of it," the Infinitely Polar Bear actress says. "I told him, 'If you use my name, you're going to be emasculated by your community of artists, by your Latin community of men, by the world.' But Marco looks up at me and says, 'Ah, Zoe, I don't give a s--t.'"

According to Saldana, Perego is unlike anyone else she's dated.

"It's not like I've had issues with men; I've always just been independent to a fault. I've always believed it's my birthright to behave as an equal on this earth and to be entitled to everything and anything," she says of past relationships. "That said, I've had my experiences of heartbreak when it comes to choosing partners who wanted to be equals but didn't have the ability to actually reciprocate the respect."

In the wide-ranging cover story, Saldana also addresses critics who argued that she is too light-skinned to play the role of Nina Simone in the upcoming movie Nina. "I didn't think I was right for the part, and I know a lot of people will agree, but then again, I don't think Elizabeth Taylor was right for Cleopatra either. An artist is colorless, genderless…It's more complex than just 'Oh, you chose the Halle Berry look-alike to play a dark, strikingly beautiful, iconic black woman.' The truth is, they chose an artist who was willing to sacrifice herself," the actress tells the magazine.

"We needed to tell her story because she deserves it."

Race is something she thinks about a lot, particularly after her boys' arrival. "What was important for my mother is that we married somebody who still had dreams and aspirations—not what color or class they were from," Saldana tells InStyle. "We were all colors but we never talked about it. We all ate the same food. I look at Cy and he looks almost Cambodian. I look at Bo and it's like, 'Oh, our little pharaoh.'"

For more from Saldana, pick up a copy of InStyle, on newsstands June 15.